Spain safeguards mackerel, melva fisheries


Chris Dove, contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
April 22, 2009

The regional government of southern Spain, the Junta de Andalucía, announced recently that from 28 April two Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) will come into effect in the European Community register of goods protected by law.
The announcement comes on the heels of a consumer campaign, dubbed Fish Information Label, aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the harvest origin information available on seafood product labels.
Melva of Andalucía and Mackerel of Andalucía are the first two PGI-designated fisheries in Andalucía, designed to preserve the integrity of these artisan seafood products.
PGI Melva of Andalucía protects melva preserved in oil. Melva, also called frigate mackerel, is a small, elongated fish. Melva stew is a traditional dish from the region. PGI Mackerel of Andalucía protects canned mackerel fillet in oil. Both products are produced on a smaller scale than conventional mackerel harvests, without the presence of chemical peeling common to the seafood-canning business.
The production area of these two designations extends the length of the Andalucían coast. Production levels of canned and frigate mackerel covered by the PGIs is approximately 3,000 metric tons annually, with an estimated value of EUR 17 million (USD 22.4 million).
Six companies producing Melva of Andalucía and Mackerel of Andalucía are registered with the Junta and are located in the towns of Ayamonte, Barbate, Cádiz, Chiclana, Huelva and Tarifa.
Through its new seafood-labeling campaign, the Junta is promoting the distinctive quality of Andalucían seafood and businesses with Quality Certifications, as part of a Plan for Modernization for the region’s fishing industry.

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